Matt Pryor
Matt Pryor
Matt is a graduate of Southern New Hampshire University. He appreciates all esports titles but primarily focuses on Fortnite and Call of Duty. Matt continuously analyzes gameplay and plays the games himself to better understand in-game decisions by the best players in the world.

Fortnite: Epic Removes Wildlife & IO Guards To Improve Server Stability

A green FNCS shield logo appears with a chicken, a boar, a wolf and an IO Guard from Fortnite with a rural background behind them.
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Epic Games continues to make positive changes for the competitive Fortnite scene.


Competitive Fortnite Battle Royale competitors worldwide are gearing up for the first-ever FNCS All-Star Showdown. While the $3M USD prize pool is enticing, high-level players constantly live at the mercy of the game’s unpredictable servers. For quite some time, the world’s best have had to adjust their play styles and expectations to stay in the mix. Unfortunately, Epic Games seldom addressed server stability, which paved the way for endless viral clips of unbearably laggy circumstances.

Ahead of the $3M USD All-Star event, Epic has seemingly heard the complaints of players. So today, the developers announced a significant change to competitive playlists to improve tournament server performance.

IO Guards & Wildlife Disabled

Mere days removed from Epic’s decision to vault UFOs, Rail Guns and Recon Scanners from competitive Fortnite, another unexpected follow-up came through via Twitter. Wildlife and IO Guards will no longer appear in Arena Mode or tournaments. Epic Games provided their reasoning on the tweet.

“Wildlife and IO Guards have been removed from competitive playlists as we continue to address server performance in high-level matches. We'll let you know if there are any more updates to Competitive gameplay.”

It’s a request that the community has made since Epic first introduced non-player characters (NPCs). Players theorized that perhaps servers would operate much smoother with fewer assets spawning on the map. The recent addition of wild animals last season lent more plausibility to the theory, given the overpopulated landscape. Epic finally came around to the idea.

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Another W for Epic Games

Competitive Fortnite is not going anywhere. In fact, Epic’s conscious effort to separate it from casual gameplay is evidence to the contrary. One year ago, the developers were reluctant to make any significant alterations to the competitive landscape. Now, they are actively working to make matches more fluid. We’ll have to wait and see if the removal of Wildlife and IO Guards makes a difference, but it’s a welcome experiment.

Stay tuned to ESTNN for more Fortnite news and updates!

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